Part of the new adventure in NorCalia revolves around food. Mostly food coming out of my kitchen. We have discovered that the local palette is different that what we experienced in the OC, resulting in eating out becoming a very rare occurrence. Not that I mind most of our food coming out of my kitchen. It's life giving to return to some old practices of slow food prep I used to practice when the kids were small. And my daughter is teaching me some new tricks as well.
Right now in my pantry I have three kinds of low-sugar, home made jam. The freezer is filling up with pesto cubes (for sauces through the winter), chicken stock, seasoned pinto beans, and enchilada sauce. We get our weekly produce box from a local CSA, pastured eggs from Katie, and once a month I receive lovely organic food supplies from Azure Standard. Not to mention all the fresh produce from Katie's garden/farm. All this food prep takes time, time I didn't have in my previous life working a 40+ hour week, and going to school. I had forgotten the satisfaction and pure joy of food prep. Not only is our food getting healthier, but the preparation process is life giving.
Apparently what is happening is I am becoming part of the Slow Food Movement. Who knew there was a movement? This Movement started in 1986, when I was busy caring for two small kiddos and cooking from scratch to stretch every dollar until it screamed. The movement was in reaction to the fast food movement, and centered around the belief that "all people can eat food that is good for them, good for the people who grow it, and good for the planet."
We now live in a place that has easy access to great organic, pastured meats and fresh, local organic produce, and I have the luxury of time to devote to food prep. And after being exposed to the DVD Food Inc., and Michael Pollen's books "Omnivore's Dilemma" and "Cooked", I see food differently. Not just from a health standpoint, but from a desire to support local agriculture and reduce the waste of packaging involved in processed "food type substances"(a Pollen term).
Honestly, this doesn't mean I'll never again have an In-N-Out cheeseburger. Someone is right now making me a delicious chocolate birthday cake from scratch loaded with sugar, butter, and white flour, and it smells divine. But I am thinking more about the impact of what I choose to eat on my own body, and the planet I'm leaving to my grandchildren.
All this rambling began with a desire to share one of my favoriteist recipes. Pesto. Yum. I can sit with this pesto, a box of crackers, and eat myself silly. I truly hope you enjoy.
Basil Pesto Recipe
2 cups organic basil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
3 cloves garlic
salt & pepper to taste
squeeze of lemon (to slow oxidation)
1. Throw everything in a food processor. It will look like this:
2. Pulse food processor until it's all pretty finely pureed.
3. Get some crackers. Eat yourself silly. All that green, garlic, and olive oil has to be healthy, right?
4. If there's any left, freeze in an ice cube tray. When frozen, transfer cubes to a glass container in your freezer. A cube mixed with tomato sauce makes the base of an awesome marinara or pizza sauce.
Note: The top layer of the pesto will oxidize and turn dark pretty quickly. Don't let it scare you, it's still delicious.
Love from my NorCalia kitchen,